Viva Green Vegas!

George Washington University-School of Media and Public Affairs
November 15, 2010

Do you think this helps move the planet forward?
Overall Score:
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Las Vegas is considered a city of excess, with its neon lights, massive buffets, and perhaps too many Elvis impersonators.

Lately, Vegas hotels and casinos are keen on a new green trend. For example, the awe-inspiring CityCenter conglomerate with the world’s first green fleet of stretch limousines and energy-efficient slot machines. The 18-million square feet property boasts seven world-class buildings (hotels, gaming, condominiums, convention center, fine dining, shopping) and six gold LEED certifications. It is one of the largest LEED approved systems in the world.

Here’s some ways CityCenter greens your stay:

-Hotel Vdara’s specially coated windows that reduce heat transfer into the building and directs extra solar heat to the Vdara swimming pool

-Air conditioning systems at the base of slot machines for efficient cooling in the casino

-Preferred parking for hybrid cars and a bike valet

-World’s first fleet of stretch limousines powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas

-Smart-home technology systems in guest rooms that personalize lighting, temperature, and so much more

CityCenter also generates 10 percent of its electricity on site with a natural gas power plant. The heat from the plant is used to the heat property’s water.

When a hotel replaces just one A/C unit to a more energy-efficient unit, it saves 300-500 homes’ worth of electricity, according to an article in Forbes.

Another hotel casino company in Vegas is a green leader. Harrah’s Entertainment was the first casino-entertainment company to receive the WasteWise award from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency for their conservation efforts at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas in 2010.

Harrah’s Entertainment properties across the nation have saved $10 million per year through conservation efforts and 155.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year, according to Eric Dominguez, director of energy and environmental services. That’s the energy equivalent of 81,170 transnational roundtrip flights!

Millions of light bulbs were replaced with CFLs, saving more than 50 million kilowatt hours each year. Also, the Rio Hotel was home to the nation’s cleanest burning natural gas co-generation facility in 2008.

These green casino innovations are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to advancements in energy efficiency in a city of excess. Viva, green Vegas!